Media Hits & Misses

In The Midst Of The Trumpandemic: 10 Ways To Spot Online BS & Misinformation

By H. Colleen Sinclair The Conversation (3/27/20) Propagandists are already working to sow disinformation and social discord in the run-up to the November elections. Many of their efforts have focused on social media, where people’s limited attention spans push them to share items before even reading them – in part because people react emotionally, not logically, to information they come across. That’s especially true when the topic confirms what a person already believes. It’s tempting to blame bots and trolls for these problems. But really it’s our own fault for sharing so widely. Research has confirmed that lies spread faster than truth – mainly because lies are not bound to the…

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Trump Sends Cease, Desist Letter On Ad Featuring One Giant Sound Bite Of HIS Mad Trumpandemic Musings

So, of course you just gotta’ see the ad, right? By Kerry Eleved Daily Kos (3/25/20) Donald Trump is angry. The Democratic Super PAC Priorities USA assembled an ad that features the sound bites of Trump and Trump only, and guess what? Turns out he’s an unhinged maniacal liar who’s gotten everything about the coronavirus wrong. That may not be news to you, but it is apparently news to Trump. And his dangerously factless musings on the coronavirus over the past several weeks have not worn well. So on Wednesday, a Trump campaign attorney released a cease and desist letter demanding that TV stations across the nation pull…


Is Gmail Hiding Bernie’s Emails To You? How Inbox Filtering May Cripple Democracy

  By Adrianne Jeffries, Leon Yin & Surya Mattu The Guardian (2/26/20) Pete Buttigieg is leading at 63%. Andrew Yang came in second at 46%. And Elizabeth Warren looks like she’s in trouble with 0%. These aren’t poll numbers for the US 2020 Democratic presidential contest. Instead, they reflect which candidates were able to consistently land in Gmail’s primary inbox in a simple test. The Markup set up a new Gmail account to find out how the company filters political emails from candidates, thinktanks, advocacy groups and nonprofits. We found that few of the emails we’d signed up to receive – 11%…


Michael Moore Takes On Establishment Democrats’ Empty ‘Bernie Bro’ Smear

By Michael Moore Rumble Podcast (3/5/20) Senator Bernie Sanders issued a forceful statement on Friday against Russian attempts to meddle in the 2020 election, as he has done in the past. This came in response to a Washington Post story that Sanders was recently briefed by U.S. intelligence officials that Russia was meddling in the election and attempting to “help” his campaign in an unspecified way. This comes on the heels of the Sanders’ opponents and the media dredging up the “Bernie Bro” canard from 2016 and attempting to portray online Sanders supporters as uniquely vile. In this EMERGENCY PODCAST…



ON CONTACT: Outcome Of Julian Assange Extradition Case Could Provide News Blackout Of Govt. Crimes

Psychological torture, faulty evidence, abusive treatment, isolated in courtroom glass cage and kept from attorneys. By Chris Hedges On Contact / RT America (2/29/20) On the show this week Chris Hedges talks to Joe Lauria, editor of Consortium News, about his coverage of US prosecutors in London attempting to extradite Julian Assange to the United States to face trial for allegations of espionage. Link To 28-Minute Video


The New York Times’ First Article In 1922 On Hitler’s Rise Should Be A Lesson For Today’ Media

  [Editor’s Note: As we have often seen, the American media has been unprepared to deal with the crass cruelty and danger of the Trump administration. By repeatedly pulling punches and using euphemisms like “misstatement” to describe Trump’s “lies” they have too often padded the sharp edges of Trumps reality. This excellent story shows how such journalistic timidity puts all of us at risk. — Mark L. Taylor] By Zack Beauchamp Vox (3/3/16) On November 21, 1922, the New York Times published its very first article about Adolf Hitler. It’s an incredible read — especially its assertion that “Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not…


The Classic Faustian Bargain Of New Intrusive Age Of Surveillance Capitalism

  “The real psychological truth is this: If you’ve got nothing to hide, you are nothing.” ― Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism ***** What happens to our pics on social media and what does that have to do with the persecution of the Uighars in China? (Scrape, scrape, scrape…) What is Pokémon Go really about? (Talk about child abuse.) Who was really behind Google Earth? (One shouldn’t be too surprised.) How much info do they really have about us? (Waaaay more than we volunteer.) Can there be a hidden microphone in your new home security system that isn’t revealed in the…


Conservative Columnist Calls Out Timid, Complicit Press Trying To Maintain Access To Trump: ‘He’s a raving lunatic … tell it like it is’

  By Tom Boggioni Raw Story (2/16/20) Appearing on MSNBC’s “AM Joy” conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin excoriated members of the press who — in the pursuit of appearing “objective” — refuse to “tell it like it is” when reporting on President Donald Trump. Speaking with host Joy Reid, Rubin — one of the president’s more avid critics — got right to the point. “I think there are two things, “Rubin began. “One, I think that this notion of objectivity of balance has been so inculcated into the media that they now don’t call it like they see it…


Scope Of The Sophisticated ‘Disinformation Campaign’ Backing Up Trump In The 2020 Election

Republicans have created the most extensive online disinformation campaign in U.S. history — one intended to reelect President Trump. [Editor’s Note: This is an extremely important article. Probably the most important article you will read this week. What the Trump campaign has achieved with social media manipulation is nothing compared to what is coming at us, including ‘deep fake’ videos designed to bend fact into fantasy . The impacts will stretch far beyond November 2020, testing and undermining the information base needed for any functioning democracy. — Mark L. Taylor] By May Louise Kelly All Things Considered / NPR (2/7/20)…


Giving Another Billionaire A Free Pass: Why Is The Media Giving Mike Bloomberg A Free Pass?

Around-the-clock Mayor Mike propaganda feed. By Bob Hennelly Salon (2/9/20) Surely the American news media is way too on top of its game to miss a New York City billionaire — with a global brand and a little racist baggage — execute a takeover of one of America’s major political parties and become president. Right? Just as Trump did in 2016, he’s big-footed the process in such a way that once again we see just how devoid of core values the corporate machinery of both political parties are, just like the corporate media covering them. Currently, aforementioned billionaire Michael Bloomberg is flooding the corporate media…


Brazil’s Charges Against ‘Intercept’ Journalist Glenn Greenwald Reek Of Authoritarianism

ByTrevor Timm The Guardian (1/22/20) In a shocking attack on press freedom, the Brazil’s rightwing government announced on Tuesday it was charging the journalist Glenn Greenwald with “cybercrimes” in relation to his reporting on the Bolsonaro administration and corruption within its ranks. Thankfully, as of now, Greenwald remains free; a federal judge must affirm the charges before he is officially indicted. But make no mistake: this move by the Brazilian government is an outrageous attempt to retaliate against a journalist who has reported critically on Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro; its justice minister, Sergio Moro; and their allies – and it reeks of…


FLUSHED! The Bizarre Truth About The Real Power Of Trump’s Odd Toilet Obsession

What sounds buffoonish forges a personal connection with his followers. By Chauncey Devega Salon (1/17/20) For Donald Trump, the personal certainly is the political. He has shown himself to be a malignant narcissist. He is an egomaniac. Trump’s personal obsessions drive most if not all of his behavior. He has no conception, care or concern for most other people. Trump’s personal and political brand is grievance-mongering and a false narrative of white victimhood. This won Donald Trump the White House and remains the bedrock of his political cult and popularity. Trump is obsessed with personal slights. As such, like a king,…


A Progressive’s Handy Guide To Deciphering The Doublespeak Of Corporate Democrat ‘Centrists’

“Privatization” — Theft of public resources. By Richard Eskow Independent Media Insitute (1/6/20) “Purity test”? “Pragmatic progressive”? “Free stuff”? What are these politicians talking about? If you’re confused, you’re not alone. Certain words and phrases are routinely used by “centrist” political candidates. By design, these terms are imprecise, emotionally charged, and often self-contradicting. In fact, the word “centrist” is just such a term, since polling shows that the economic viewpoint of these candidates—especially regarding health care, Social Security, education and other social programs—is often well to the right of the general public. Pete Buttigieg’s recent use of the term “purity test”…


‘Guardian’ Journalist Owen Jones On Toxic Politics & Becoming A Target Of Far Right Abuse 

  By Anushka Asthana Today In Focus / The Guardian (1/7/20) Last August the Guardian columnist Owen Jones suffered a horrendous attack as he was out in London celebrating his birthday. In December three men admitted to the charge of affray. Next week a judge will decide whether one of the men, James Healy, was motivated by Jones’s sexuality. Jones is convinced it will not be the last time he is attacked, and that is because he has become accustomed to being a target in person and online. In the past year he’s been repeatedly taunted in the street, including with homophobic abuse….


NPR Drops Obediently Into Place With Pro-War Interview

By Mark L. Taylor Commoner Call (1/6/20) On Friday morning (2/3) in a segment provocatively entitled Expert Warns Iran Likely Will Retaliate For U.S. Killing Of Top General, National Public Radio’s ‘Morning Edition’ host Steve Innskeep interviewed retired general Jack Keane, who the network website described as “a retired Army general who regularly talks to President Trump, about the U.S. strategy on Iran…”. But there is much, much more to the general than that bland, anodyne descriptor. A quick search found some very important information about Keane. Media Matters notes: “Jack Keane is a retired U.S. Army general and a longtime Fox News military…


The Extreme Chinese Cult Behind The Facebook-Fueled Rise Of Trump-Worshiping ‘Epoch Times’

 Epoch Times wields one of the biggest social media followings of any news outlet. [Editor’s Note: This otherwise great article makes a fundamental linguistic mistake. It repeatedly refers to Falun Gong as a “spiritual” group, sect, practice or movement. Let’s get clear about something: Falun Gong is a dangerous and deceptive cult. Too often media is careless with language and in the process miss essential elements of important stories. With its growing destructive influence the Epoch Times is wielding, proper terminology is essential . — Mark L. Taylor] By Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins MSNBC (8/20/19) By the numbers, there is…


Ralph Nader On Eisenhower’s Warning: Prophetic & Presently Understated

    The American Conservative (7/6/18) The American Conservative hosted its annual crony capitalism conference at which Ralph Nader delivered a speech on the military industrial congressional complex titled “Eisenhower’s Warning: Prophetic and Presently Understated.” Nader is an author, consumer advocate, and former presidential candidate. He is one of America’s most effective social critics, and has emerged as a leading voice against the growing convergence of government and corporate interests. He is the author of Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State. Link To 32-Minute Video Eisenhower’s Famous Farewell ‘Military Industrial Complex’ Warning — Ike’s warning about the…


DOCUMENTARY — Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky And The Media

  At yet another time of deceit and manipulation toward war, it is essential to understand how the corporate owners of the economy & government manufacture the consent of the population to send their children off to die in yet another useless war. Encore (11/16/17) Manufacturing Consent explores the political life and ideas of world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist Noam Chomsky. Through a collage of biography, archival material and various graphics and illustrations, Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick’s 22-award-winning documentary highlights Chomsky’s probing analysis of mass media and his critique of the forces at work behind the daily news….


Rumble With Michael Moore Episode 10: Reconsidering The Important Legacy Of Ralph Nader

  Rumble With Michael Moore (12/29/19) Michael Moore and Ralph Nader have a complicated relationship. So during his trip to D.C. to witness the impeachment of Donald Trump, Michael was surprised when he bumped into Ralph while visiting the office of Flint’s representative in Congress. They ended up having their first real conversation in nearly 20 years. Ralph agreed to let Michael record it for this podcast. Rumble Reads: Ralph Nader and Mark Green’s new book “Fake President” is here. Read more about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact here. Follow Ralph here. Send in a voice message to Michael….


Secret History Of The War In Afghanistan Reveals The Bipartisan Betrayal Of American Troops

  “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan. We didn’t know what we were doing. We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.” — Gen. Douglas Lute, Afghan War “Czar” adviser to both presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. (Access NPR interview with Lute.) ***** “Truth was rarely welcome. Bad news was often stifled. Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible. Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced everything we were doing was right. And we became a self-licking ice cream cone.” — Col. Bob Crowley, retired Army counter…


Think Trump Is Bad? Reporter Jane Mayer Exposes The Koch-Brother Puppet Masters Behind Mike Pence

  By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted Podcast (10/25/17) The great investigative journalist Jane Mayer has a fascinating exposé on Pence in the recent issue of The New Yorker magazine. The title of it is, “The Danger of President Mike Pence.” Jane is one of the best journalists of our time and she was one of the first reporters to crack open the CIA torture and extraordinary rendition program under Bush and Cheney. She has written a number of books. Her latest work has focused on investigating the Koch brothers and other shady right-wing or Republican financiers. Her most recent book is…


Renowned Journalist Amy Goodman Reflects On The Build Up To War & The Role Of The Corporate Media

  Amy Goodman tells of the day — with a gun to her head — her life was on the line reporting on a US-supported massacre of innocents. By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted Podcast (6/19/19) Amy Goodman is one of the finest journalists this country has ever produced. With the Trump administration attempting to drive the U.S. into war against Iran, it’s impossible to ignore the historical record of how the U.S. lies its way into war, the role of powerful corporate journalists in those campaigns and the lessons we must embrace if we want to stop this insanity. I also…


The U.S. Government Lied About The Afghanistan War. They Couldn’t Have Gotten By With It Without Lapdogs Like The Washington Post

Whenever there is a foreign policy “crisis,” you will never read or hear or see someone completely opposed to U.S. involvement given a voice in the media. Certainly not in the Post. By Ted Rall Common Dreams (12/11/19) “In ten years or so, we’ll leak the truth,” the Dead Kennedys sang. “But by then it’s only so much paper.” But it might just score you a Pulitzer Prize. Award bait and bragging rights are no doubt the principal goals of The Washington Post’s self-congratulatory data dump, “The Afghanistan Papers.” As the headline implies, the 2000 pages that a court ordered the Office…


Manufacturing Consent: PBS 2020 Segment Finds Time To Feature Klobuchar, Sestak & Bullock—But Completely Ignores Bernie Sanders

‘He’s Just…Erased’ By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (12/3/19) A Monday night PBS NewsHour segment on the state of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary highlighted Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s new ad campaign in Iowa, the departure of marginal candidates Steve Bullock and Joe Sestak, a tender campaign moment with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Joe Biden’s “No Malarkey” bus tour—but did not once even mention Sen. Bernie Sanders despite recent key endorsements and a surge in the polls. Sanders’ presidential campaign has repeatedly accused the corporate media of ignoring the senator from Vermont, a phenomenon Sanders supporters have dubbed the “Bernie blackout.” The PBS segment, led by NewsHour correspondent Yamiche…


Media Manipulation: How The Alt-Right Co-opted The ‘OK’ Hand Sign To Play Journalists

At some point, life begins to imitate their art, and what began as a media hoax takes on dangerously radical connotations. By Poppy Noor The Guardian (10/3/19) Another day, another seemingly harmless symbol you can’t use without appearing to be a purveyor of hate. The alt-right’s latest trophy is the OK hand sign, which was officially recognised as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League over the weekend. And on Tuesday, it was reported that a Universal Orlando Resort employee was fired after concerned parents found a photo of him making the hand sign on their six-year-old’s shoulder (their child is biracial and has autism)….


Resistance Radio: The Man Who Laughed At al-Qaeda

By Mike Thomson Assignment / BBC (11/28/19) Raed Fares, founder of Syria’s legendary Radio Fresh FM, was mowed down by unknown gunmen as he left his studios in rebel-held Idlib in November 2018. The death of the man who fought hatred with humour and laughed in the faces of President Assad, ISIS and al-Qaeda, sent shockwaves way beyond his troubled homeland. When ordered by Islamist extremists to stop broadcasting music he had replied with bird song and clucking chickens. On being told to take his female presenters off air, he put their voices through software to make them sound like…


Missing The Lead: Political Reporters Ignore The Story Of GOP’s Moral & Ethical Collapse

  By Daniel Froomkin Press Watch (11/25/19) After two weeks of gripping testimony that established Donald Trump’s flagrant abuse of power beyond any reasonable doubt, after an effectively uncontested accusation that Republican conspiracy theories about Ukraine advance a Russian agenda, and after the ostensibly “moderate” members of Trump’s party actually hardened their support for the president, there is precisely one huge, overarching news story that demands to be written: That the GOP has fully descended into lawlessness and lunacy. But our elite political reporters simply can’t bring themselves to say so. Over in the opinion sections, that message is so…


Sacha Baron Cohen’s ADL Conference Keynote Address Takes Facebook & Social Media To Task For Propagating Hate

“The greatest propaganda machine in history.” [Editor’s Note: Actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen delivered a brilliant assessment of the threat and role of social media in the propagation of hate and intolerance at an  Anti-Defamation League (ADL) dinner. In particular, he took Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg to task for the role of Facebook in spreading hate worldwide, which he described as “the greatest propaganda machine in history”. Going beyond criticism, Cohen made some very useful suggestions for fixes. — Mark L. Taylor] Anti-Defamation League (11/21/19) Thank you, Jonathan, for your very kind words.  Thank you, ADL, for this recognition and your work…


Collapse Of The Information Ecosystem Poses Immediate, Profound Risks For Us All

The collapse of the information ecosystem has already wreaked havoc on our political systems. By Lydia Polgreen The Guardian (11/19/19) For the last few years, scientists have argued that we’re living through a distinctly new geological age. They call it the Anthropocene: a new age characterized by humanity’s profound impact on Earth itself as evidenced by pollution, mass extinction and climate change. We are currently facing a new systemic collapse, one that has built far more swiftly but poses potent risks for all of humanity: the collapse of the information ecosystem. We see it play out every day with the viral spread of…


Study Finds Twitter Attacks On Rep. Ilhan Omar Are ‘manufactured outrage’ Of A Surprisingly Few Accounts & Bots

A majority of 90,000 hateful Islamaphobic tweets originated from fewer than a dozen accounts, but were retweeted to prominence by bots. By Tom Crann & Megan Burks MPR (11/8/19) President Trump has made criticism of Minnesota U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar a prominent part of his rallies. He’s also targeted her on Twitter, prompting others to do the same. But a study out this week details how a small group of bad actors started that tweet storm long before Omar was on the president’s radar. And the study’s authors are calling for Twitter to do more than ban paid political ads, as it announced last week. They say this unpaid messaging actually may be more damaging. “To…


‘All of us are in danger’: Journalist John Pilger Delivers A Chilling Warning For Us All From Julian Assange

“The moment we fall silent it is over.” RT (9/2/19) Journalist John Pilger has delivered a stark warning from WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, who said that his persecution is intended to kill dissent. “Speak up now,” Pilger said, or face “the silence of a new kind of tyranny.” Assange is currently serving a 50 week sentence in Belmarsh Prison for skipping a bail hearing in 2012. US authorities are seeking his extradition for his role in publishing classified documents, accusing him of espionage. Speaking at a rally outside the Home Office in London on Monday, Pilger passed on a message…


Chris Hedges: The Enemy Within Is Deep Indeed

The deep state, incapable of reform and determined to retain its grip on power, will morph under the threat of popular unrest into a corporatized fascism. By Chris Hedges TruthDig (11/4/19) Our democracy is not in peril—we do not live in a democracy. The image of our democracy is in peril. The deep state—the generals, bankers, corporatists, lobbyists, intelligence chiefs, government bureaucrats and technocrats—is intent on salvaging the brand. It is hard to trumpet yourself as the world’s guardian of freedom and liberty with Donald Trump blathering on incoherently about himself, inciting racist violence, insulting our traditional allies along with…


Police State War On The Press: Journalist Max Blumenthal Arrested On False Charge In DC

Pushback With Aaron Maté (11/3/19) The Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal speaks out on his arrest months after reporting on Venezuelan opposition violence at the DC embassy. Blumenthal was seized from his home by a group of officers and held for two days in cells and cages. His arrest warrant labels him as “armed and dangerous.” Blumenthal says the charges are false and a retaliation against The Grayzone’s journalism on the US-backed coup in Venezuela and corrupt members of the right-wing Venezuelan opposition carrying it out. Link To 22-Minute Video ***** Max Blumenthal Arrest Exposes Hypocrisy Of Western Media & Supposed…


The “Joker” Is A Film About The America That Inflicted Us With Trump

  Go see this film. Take your teens. Take your resolve. By Michael Moore Michael Moore’s Facebook Page (10/6/19) On Wednesday night I attended the New York Film Festival and witnessed a cinematic masterpiece, the film that last month won the top prize as the Best Film of the Venice International Film Festival. It’s called “Joker” — and all we Americans have heard about this movie is that we should fear it and stay away from it. We’ve been told it’s violent and sick and morally corrupt — an incitement and celebration of murder. We’ve been told that police will…


From Govt. Psy-Ops To National Public Radio: New CEO John Lansing’s Glass House

By Laura Flanders Common Dreams (9/15/19) I don’t know about you, but I take a teeny weeny bit of offense when a guy in a glass house lobs a great big stone and expects me not to notice the sound of shattering. Which brings me to National Public Radio. When the ubiquitous news and public affairs network announced the appointment of a new CEO, it noted that John Lansing made his mark in his current job with “stirring defenses of journalism, free from government interference.” This had me picking through the shards when they went on to explain that Lansing comes to…


Next Up… How Showbiz Swallowed Our Politics & Democracy Itself

The conservative movement has been overtaken by performative stupidity. By Stephen Marche Medium (9/4/19) There are new rules. It doesn’t matter if you want to play by them. It doesn’t matter if you believe there should be other rules. In the world of images we have entered, a world of screens, the sudden acceleration of the scope of mass media in all forms has generated, on the right, a conservative buffoonery that has taken over the major parties, and, on the left, a tendency toward political suicide by the refinement of image. As with Ernest Hemingway’s proverbial bankruptcy, the crisis…


Free Speech, Press & Privacy On The Wane Across The World

By Kate Hodal The Guardian (8/8/19) Nearly half the world’s people are living in countries where their freedom of speech and right to privacy are being eroded, researchers have found. “Strongman” regimes seeking to squash voices of dissent and solidify political power are increasingly monitoring citizens through technology, cracking down on protests and jailing journalists, according to a ranking of 198 countries on issues including mass surveillance and data privacy. The report, launched on Thursday by global risk analysis company Verisk Maplecroft, found that about 3.38bn people, or roughly 46% of the global population, live in countries deemed to be at…


Analysis Finds US Corporate Media ‘Failing To Connect Climate Crisis To Strongest Atlantic Storm Ever To Hit Land’

By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (9/4/19) While Hurricane Dorian marched up the U.S. Southeastern coast Wednesday after devastating the Northern Bahamas, advocates for ambitious climate action reiterated the global emergency’s connection to extreme weather—even as an analysis showed that major corporate news outlets are failing to report on it. After making landfall as a Category 5 hurricane Sunday, Dorian crawled across the Bahamas Monday and Tuesday—leaving a trail of utter destruction in its wake. The Union of Concerned Scientists explained earlier this year how experts believe the human-caused climate crisis is causing more intense hurricanes: “While hurricanes are a natural part of our climate system, recent researchsuggests that there has been an…


Wisconsin Journalist & Media Commentator John Nichols Talks With Ralph Nader About The Corporate Takeover Of Newspapers

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (8/2/19) Wisconsin is about to see a big media change as the Gannett-owned Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel is about to be taken over by GateHouse media, a corporation known for stripping assets out of papers, slashing reporting staffs and diminishing the amount and quality of local reporting. The combination of Gannett and GateHouse will create the largest media conglomerate that will own 1 out of 6 newspapers in the country. More and more communities are going without local media, which means local government at the municipal and county levels goes unreported. Without the light…